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nefthy

why not hide the numbers?

343 posts in this topic

humans by nature like definite facts even when not available (look at statistics).

the joy of rpgs is also in the numbers and weighing up of your skill.
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Original post by Jiia
So the moral of the story is that we should force the player to identify and make sense of everything in the game world on his own.

Does that also mean that the ring of fire isn't a ring of fire at all unless the words are actually written on it? It's just a red ring, and since it is unique, no one alive has ever heard of it. No one would even know it has magical powers. So unless I want to look like an idiot shouting in magical toungue every time I try on a peice of jewerly, I would just ignore it. Let us also hope it's not a one-time use item, or even shouting in tongues will be a waste, and it's possible I may explode, be transported to hell, or fry my best friend when it goes off. I guess I can save, test it, then reload. [wink]


No that was not my point. My point was "How about other means to comunicate this information" with the player. And unique (was not meant literaly, rare would probably fit better) does not mean nobody ever heard of it. (And I am not thinking in MMO terms, where you can't avoid mass production. I'm thinking about offline RPG's or maybe Very Small Scale Online RPGs where items are placed by the level designer *g*)
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I would have to say that I agree with the OP, for the most part. As it is, graphics are a large part of the game, and take up a lot of the team's time, like it or not. I think that the graphics and sound need to be utilized more (or less, as in the first example) to enforce rules. For example, if the server decides that a player failed his "spot check" on seeing the Goblin Horde, then it just doesn't send visual data about the goblins. However, if the character managed to hear them, it might send data about the sound. Sure, the player can always turn up the sound, but you could always have the client or the server (depends on how vital it is not to get hax0red) blur the volume somehow.

If the character is getting hurt, there are lots of ways to do visual or auditory clues. Make the screen tinge with red around the edges, make "blood drips" down the screen, make the character's breath audibly pained. When the character gets hit (if it is a console game) make the controller rumble, or make the character yell and flash the screen, or something of that nature.

When the character fails to pick the lock, make auditory clues, such as cussing in frustration if it is way to hard to pick, or "almost got it, damn" if they were nearly finished and their pick snapped. ALternatively, make them spend more time rattling around with the lock if it is harder to pick. Use their visual senses: obviously a thirty pound, solid metal, engraved, glowing magic lock on the iron door of the Wizard's Tower is going to be more difficult to pick than the lock you get at the gym for your locker.

If the game is third person, some sort of character deforming could possibly be used to represent muscles. Also, if they are weak, make them drag around the huge Cloud sword they just picked up. If their name is Hrolfgar the Barbarian, make them twirl it around like its nothing.

Use your imagination! There are LOTS of ways to represent things visually in games, more than ever. This is only going to get easier and easier to do. Of course there are stat-crunchers and munchkins out there, but maybe this will wind up being a whole new "immersion-RPG" genre.
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Original post by c-Row
Maybe the CHARACTER knows which one is stronger by looking at the handcrafted blade, the fine drawings on it and other things. You shouldn't expect the character to know only what the player knows. Conan never needed stats to determine which sword was better... ;)

The player should determine which is better, since the character doesn't know what to use (unless you program the character to know what he is going up against and can automatically equip the best equipment for that fight.) Say I'm fighting a dragon and I have two swords. Dragon Slayer and Carsomyr. Which one should be used?

Well, you could have something like old, very experienced swordmaster NPC in the game who, when visited by the player and paid considerable amount of money for their time, takes a good look at the swords, and tells the player's character that this particular piece of metal looks like say, some elf work that'd be particularly well suited for slaying dragons, or something to that effect. Same for the magic items, identifying these and what exactly they can do should perhaps be left to wizards (also for considerable amount of money, given that the wizard risks losing a limb or the head while trying to figure out how the item works)

This way you can give the player a fair idea what their gear can do, without actually handing them all the info on the silver platter the very moment the item drops...
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Original post by tolaris

Well, you could have something like old, very experienced swordmaster NPC in the game who, when visited by the player and paid considerable amount of money for their time, takes a good look at the swords, and tells the player's character that this particular piece of metal looks like say, some elf work that'd be particularly well suited for slaying dragons, or something to that effect. Same for the magic items, identifying these and what exactly they can do should perhaps be left to wizards (also for considerable amount of money, given that the wizard risks losing a limb or the head while trying to figure out how the item works)

This way you can give the player a fair idea what their gear can do, without actually handing them all the info on the silver platter the very moment the item drops...


Exactly, I would't make it that risky to identify magic items though, unless magic is hostile and unpredictable in the game world. Thats bad style. Hoever, giving the player some minor drawbacks could be quite fun. I brought an example (some posts ago) of an NPC tricking a player by giving him a cursed sword. I would make sure the player would actualy survive (or atleast have good odds of doing so) but is piss off by the NPC so he goes after him and maybe have a small side quest to get rid of the sword. This would give quite a nice quest, since the character/player has a motive (revenge) and would it be a waste to kill the player.
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Original post by Programmer16
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Original post by c-Row
Maybe the CHARACTER knows which one is stronger by looking at the handcrafted blade, the fine drawings on it and other things. You shouldn't expect the character to know only what the player knows. Conan never needed stats to determine which sword was better... ;)

The player should determine which is better, since the character doesn't know what to use (unless you program the character to know what he is going up against and can automatically equip the best equipment for that fight.) Say I'm fighting a dragon and I have two swords. Dragon Slayer and Carsomyr. Which one should be used?

Well, you could have something like old, very experienced swordmaster NPC in the game who, when visited by the player and paid considerable amount of money for their time, takes a good look at the swords, and tells the player's character that this particular piece of metal looks like say, some elf work that'd be particularly well suited for slaying dragons, or something to that effect. Same for the magic items, identifying these and what exactly they can do should perhaps be left to wizards (also for considerable amount of money, given that the wizard risks losing a limb or the head while trying to figure out how the item works)

This way you can give the player a fair idea what their gear can do, without actually handing them all the info on the silver platter the very moment the item drops...


Exactly! That's what I was talking about... use hints, lots of hints, in the game to give the players an idea of what's going on in terms of game mechanics, but don't feed them from a bottle. The games are often convoluted enough, since trying to figure out game mechanics that can stabilize a world with a couple hundred (thousand?) players can be rought, especially in the economics department. I personally think that as our technology gets better and better, the computer should start playing more and more of a role with the player.
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Original post by superpig
I think my point of view is best summarised thus: WHO CARES?! HE'S GOT A FRICKIN' GUN IN YOUR FACE! [grin]


But what if you're wearing Class A Power Armor? Or you've cast Stoneflesh on yourself?

I'm not sure, but in this example you may be arguing for completely arbitrary resolutions, which would effectively dull the amount of variability and variety of encounter.


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However, let me describe my dream sword shop in such a game. You go in, and there are five swords in the rack. Firstly and most obviously, you (the player) can look at them, and see that some look more badass than others. You can tell your character to 'examine' a sword, and he can pick it up, test its edge, hold it and feel it in his hand, and then he 'thinks' (via a text box on your UI), "Hmm, good edge... it's quite heavy though." So this time instead of choosing 'examine' you choose 'compare' and click on another sword. He picks up the second sword, examines it, and eventually produces a thought like "This one is lighter than that one, and the grip fits my hand better. However, that one has the sharper edge." The player is then free to choose which one to go for based on their goals and style (e.g. they could get the blunt sword and then get it sharpened).


Yikes! Your dream is my nightmare! [grin]

Here's an easy example to see why:

Mission 1: Go kill bandit kidnappers. Done. Return to town. Wait through five anims and text responses. Get best sword. Wait through 6 more anim / text responses describing loot. Next mission.

Mission 2: Go scare off trolls infesting farm. Done. Return to town. Wait through five more anims and text responses. Buy best sword. Save, quit, go to sleep.

Reload 1 week later: Now what was I doing. Oh, yeah, have two swords. Which did I want to sell. Wait for 2 anims. Oh yeah. Sell one. Now what was wrong with those others? Wait through four anims. Oh, right, "bad grip," "seems brittle," "shoddy workmanship," "too light," etc.

And I still have loot to sell?!?!?! No wonder I'm spending 20 minutes in the freakin' shop instead of playing the game!
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And I still have loot to sell?!?!?! No wonder I'm spending 20 minutes in the freakin' shop instead of playing the game!


Yes that would be anoying, but that would just be bad implementation. But I was anoyed like this by Dungeon Seage, which told you that sword gives you +15% swiftness / +5% damage / +5% intelligence. That was also bad implementation.

edit: and you had to take the best wepons to survive the hord of enemies waiting beyond the town wall.
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But, If I don't know how well I can pick locks, how do I know that I have to improve it. And, if I don't know who has a higher strength rating, how do I know who to use to break the lock (in case I don't have theif.) If I use graphics, then I should assume that because person A is a giant barbarian I shouldn't even try fighting him (I mean seriously, look at how easy he swings that sword!) Or that dragon that I'm fighting, if I don't know that my sword does 5d4 + 5 damage, and my thunderbolt spell does 10d10 damage, and my ranger's magic arrows do 4d4 damage + 2 electric damage each, I might just think to myself:

Ok, I have Carsomyr, a mighty elven empowered, evil-killing sword, a thunderbolt spell that can kill a umber hulk, and arrows that can kill a goblin in one hit and does electric damage. I have no chance against a dragon that spits fireballs and can hit all of my team at once. When in all actuality I can kill him in one turn from each player.

And whats an old master swordsman going to say: Oh, that's Carsomyr. It was forged by elves to cut through the undead? Well that really tells me that it does double or triple damage to undead creatures. It might even have the chance to utterly destroy them if they fail a saving throw of 3d6. But I decide to put on the Mace of Light that the old man also says was made to cut through undead, but it only does 2 extra points of damage and has no chance of utterly destroying them.

There's also spells. I learned fireball at the very beginning of the game, but I learned ball of lightning halfway through the game, so it must be stronger. What if I have 2 sets of lock picks. One has a nice red, leather case and the other one is carried in a cardboard box. Just because the leather one looks better, doesn't make it better.

Are you going to buy a car when the guy says: It goes really, really fast (you can tell because it as spoilers and leather interior, with 2 15's in the trunk), or are you going to buy the car from the guy that says: Oh, its got a 454 in it and comes with an optional spoiler.
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Original post by nefthy
Yes that would be anoying, but that would just be bad implementation. But I was anoyed like this by Dungeon Seage, which told you that sword gives you +15% swiftness / +5% damage / +5% intelligence. That was also bad implementation.

edit: and you had to take the best wepons to survive the hord of enemies waiting beyond the town wall.


My point was the strongest weapon isn't always the best. A sword that does 50 points of damage isn't as good as a sword that does 25 points of damage, 10 points of water damage, and double damage against fire elementals (when you're fighting fire elementals).

Edit: Oh, and thanks for helping me prove my point. If you know that you have a strength of 18, and a regular bastard sword. You can go defeat that horde of 50 goblins without the best weapons. Or, you're an ranger with a longbow, you can make 7/2 shots (thats 7 shots every two rounds), and have a thac0(to hit armor class 0) of -17. I've done this without them even getting within 10 feet of me.

This also brings in armor class and hit points. How do I know how much damage I can take if I don't have a hit points and know how many points of damage I've taken. Just because my character is bleeding and/or limping doesn't mean I'm almost dead. That could just mean that I'm mildy hurt and SHOULD seek healing. If I know that I have 50 hit points left and the monster I'm fighting only does around 5-10 damage each time he hits me, I can assume that I'll beat him long before he beats me (because my sword does 4d6 + 5 damage, and my spellcaster does 10 with here magic arrow spell, and my ranger does 2d4 with his arrows.)
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Original post by silverphyre673
Use your imagination! There are LOTS of ways to represent things visually in games, more than ever. This is only going to get easier and easier to do.
Of course there are stat-crunchers and munchkins out there, but maybe this will wind up being a whole new "immersion-RPG" genre.



I'm afraid it's not about originality, it's about economics. While I'm all for coming up with out of the box responses, a content heavy approach is a recipe for disaster. Since you're posting on GameDev, rather than the Shiny or EA forums, I'll assume your focus is indie developers.

If so, then most of the ideas so far simply will not scale well on a budget. When you hear the character oomph or aaargh! for the 76th time, you'll know what I mean. Visual and audio cues are long retained in the brain, making repetition annoying, whereas numbers flee rather quickly. Anyone who has had to sit through repetitive cut-scenes they can't space through knows how old it can get. Visually representing stats means that you're giving the player lots of bite-sized cutscenes, none of which they can skip.

The other problem is that the more you put into visually and auditorially representing systems that 95% of your audience already accepts in stat form, the less you have to do anything else. So, sure, you can show sweating brows, limping from herniated disks, compound fractures from falling too far, etc., etc. ad infinitum.

Just be prepared to drop alot of the quests, special action scripts, monsters, items and locations you were planning on. And call it something other than an RPG.
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If so, then most of the ideas so far simply will not scale well on a budget. When you hear the character oomph or aaargh! for the 76th time, you'll know what I mean. Visual and audio cues are long retained in the brain, making repetition annoying, whereas numbers flee rather quickly. Anyone who has had to sit through repetitive cut-scenes they can't space through knows how old it can get. Visually representing stats means that you're giving the player lots of bite-sized cutscenes, none of which they can skip.


I agree whole heartedly. After playing BG2 for about an hour and hearing "I could use some healing..." I just want to say "SHUT UP, I heard you the first time you stupid gnome!!!"

Unless your visual cue is going to cover the whole screen or part of the screen, I wouldn't do it. Using BG2 for an example (again), half the time my mages/archers die because I had no warning that they were stunned (because I was watching my warrior so that he didn't die) other than a little tiny head that was added to the that character's avatar. No text was added to the console, no spell casting effects (since I was fighting illithid and they don't have to 'cast' the spell since it is innate.)
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Original post by Programmer16
But, If I don't know how well I can pick locks, how do I know that I have to improve it. And, if I don't know who has a higher strength rating, how do I know who to use to break the lock (in case I don't have theif.) If I use graphics, then I should assume that because person A is a giant barbarian I shouldn't even try fighting him (I mean seriously, look at how easy he swings that sword!) Or that dragon that I'm fighting, if I don't know that my sword does 5d4 + 5 damage, and my thunderbolt spell does 10d10 damage, and my ranger's magic arrows do 4d4 damage + 2 electric damage each, I might just think to myself:


You have to get a fealing for this anyway. If you have the power to slay a dragon in a single round you should feel it in the game. You would be able to kill most of the other monsters with the glimse of an eye. So where's the problem

Quote:

Ok, I have Carsomyr, a mighty elven empowered, evil-killing sword, a thunderbolt spell that can kill a umber hulk, and arrows that can kill a goblin in one hit and does electric damage. I have no chance against a dragon that spits fireballs and can hit all of my team at once. When in all actuality I can kill him in one turn from each player.

And whats an old master swordsman going to say: Oh, that's Carsomyr. It was forged by elves to cut through the undead? Well that really tells me that it does double or triple damage to undead creatures. It might even have the chance to utterly destroy them if they fail a saving throw of 3d6. But I decide to put on the Mace of Light that the old man also says was made to cut through undead, but it only does 2 extra points of damage and has no chance of utterly destroying them.


Come on be a bit more creative. If it does triple damage to undead and has a chance of desintegrating them, the weapon is legendery. So the expert tells you: Wow, this sword must be the mythical Carsomyr crafted by the elven ceturies ago to fight the hords of undead send to them by $evil_necromancer. They wouldn't have won the war with out it. You should be feel honered to hold this long lost relic!
Now that would be a good hint that its you should use that to fight undead.

Quote:

There's also spells. I learned fireball at the very beginning of the game, but I learned ball of lightning halfway through the game, so it must be stronger. What if I have 2 sets of lock picks. One has a nice red, leather case and the other one is carried in a cardboard box. Just because the leather one looks better, doesn't make it better.


no, but what if you character says "hm... my old tools, although looking aglier where much better balanced. Maybe I should stick with them."

Quote:

Are you going to buy a car when the guy says: It goes really, really fast (you can tell because it as spoilers and leather interior, with 2 15's in the trunk), or are you going to buy the car from the guy that says: Oh, its got a 454 in it and comes with an optional spoiler.


Try go bying a sword and ask how much damage it does. You will probably get a reply like "you can cut of a head with it" or "It could penetrate quite hevy armour" but definitely not "2d6 + 1"
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The other problem is that the more you put into visually and auditorially representing systems that 95% of your audience already accepts in stat form, the less you have to do anything else. So, sure, you can show sweating brows, limping from herniated disks, compound fractures from falling too far, etc., etc. ad infinitum.

Just be prepared to drop alot of the quests, special action scripts, monsters, items and locations you were planning on. And call it something other than an RPG.


Hm... maybe drop half of the boring NPC that don't add to the story would be a way to get some resources.
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Hm... maybe drop half of the boring NPC that don't add to the story would be a way to get some resources.


I'm not sure you understand the magnitude of what I'm saying. Maybe there are 30 - 50 NPCs in your average RPG? Fifteen to 25 won't save if your intent is to visually / auditorially realize all stats.

Let's take skin: Muscles will be shown, I assume? How many levels of detail? You'll need multiple levels for multiple resolutions. Have different genders? Male & female body details will differ, particularly in tone for appeal (think female body builder--a no-no). Any other races? Need those, too.

So what else can happen to skin? Mummy's curse? Need rot patches. Burns? More patches. Slashes? Now you have particle fx for bleeding.

And let's not even touch custom art, like assassin's tatoos or tiger patterns.

Now let's take meshes. Genders and races now are already standard in several MMOs. But now you'll need morph targets for endomorphic or ectomorphic body types, per race/height/gender. Does height vary? How about weight? More morph targets.

And what about those animations? You're cutting out combat actions in favor of grunting and lifting actions; or too-heavy sword dragging actions. Because the actions are now more complex, it's now harder to control where they happen in the environment-- so rather than collision detection for just the character, you now have collision detection against multiple chained entities, which in theory should be able to intersect.

So it's not just NPCs. Be prepared to nix monsters/enemies, items, spells/tech fx, etc. There's no free ride on this one.
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I'm not sure you understand the magnitude of what I'm saying. Maybe there are 30 - 50 NPCs in your average RPG? Fifteen to 25 won't save if your intent is to visually / auditorially realize all stats.

Let's take skin: Muscles will be shown, I assume? How many levels of detail? You'll need multiple levels for multiple resolutions. Have different genders? Male & female body details will differ, particularly in tone for appeal (think female body builder--a no-no). Any other races? Need those, too.

So what else can happen to skin? Mummy's curse? Need rot patches. Burns? More patches. Slashes? Now you have particle fx for bleeding.

And let's not even touch custom art, like assassin's tatoos or tiger patterns.

Now let's take meshes. Genders and races now are already standard in several MMOs. But now you'll need morph targets for endomorphic or ectomorphic body types, per race/height/gender. Does height vary? How about weight? More morph targets.

And what about those animations? You're cutting out combat actions in favor of grunting and lifting actions; or too-heavy sword dragging actions. Because the actions are now more complex, it's now harder to control where they happen in the environment-- so rather than collision detection for just the character, you now have collision detection against multiple chained entities, which in theory should be able to intersect.

So it's not just NPCs. Be prepared to nix monsters/enemies, items, spells/tech fx, etc. There's no free ride on this one.


lots of valid arguments. But I think it is still worth to think about it. Eventualy there might be some easyer was to adding feadback to the game instead of expensive eyecandy. Like maybe nice descriptive texts.
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Hm... maybe drop half of the boring NPC that don't add to the story would be a way to get some resources.


You have an answer for everything.

So you're saying I should just go and "drop" the people in California because they don't add to my life. Its supposed to be a 'world', which means there are going to be people who don't contribute (and those that hinder all together.)

Just because I can kill almost any character in the game doesn't mean I can kill a dragon. In BG2 I could take my ranger in and kill almost an entire party of hobgoblins before they even got close to me. But with 6 characters, and the dragon 'near death', I still couldn't beat the damned thing until I leveled up about six more times.

Ok, you got me with the legendary statement, but the fact remains that I don't know how much damage it can do and I don't know that it has the possibility do utterly destroy them. And he might have a similiar story for the Mace of Light (or Ultimate Undead Destroy, whatever you want to call it.)

And you didn't mention my hit points and armor class statement.
"OH MY GOD! He's bleeding, he must be near death. Man, I must be doing something like 50 damage. Oh wait, look it that I'm bleeding too... He must be doing something like 60 damage."

RPGs were built on stats, storylines, and a party/team (go and try to play an AD&D game with only one character and see how far you get) and I won't call the game an RPG without them.

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Original post by nefthy
I haven't played BGII that much, actually I lost interest so fast as with no other game. But you seem like the kind of player that is happy with just with this type of game.

What do you mean by 'this type of game'? Baldur's Gate is built upon the rules of AD&D. Its 2D isometric (in view, not in graphics) and is point and click movement. You learn spells, skills, kill monsters, gain experience, and level up. What other type of RPG is there (aside from different types of graphics)? It has an extensive storyline (with atleast 30 side quests, I can count atleast 30 off the top of my head right now), that can end in one of two ways. You have somewhere around 15 different characters at your disposal through most of the game. There are around 7 races (of characters, not including monsters). A huge list of classes (and subclasses). Theres a plethora of spells, about 15 skills (weapon skills), most of the npcs that don't contribute to the game are in in the taverns and city streets (I've counted no more that 20 of these NPCs in a single place), and the graphics are awesome. What with the game made you lose interest. Did you even make it out of Irenicus' dungeon before you threw it away?
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Ok, and just for the sake of argument. Could you tell me a couple reasons why you DON'T like stats? Why is it that you want to 'think outside the box' and remove the second most important part of an RPG?

Oh, and taking away numbers will also remove one of the best parts of the game, experience hunting. I'm not going to run around fighting monsters (and just fighting monsters, so that I level up) when I don't know how much experience I'm getting or how much I need.
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In order to RP, you need atleast quantatively know and control your char, that's the how and stat and number helps. Or else you have no way to even know your own char but to trial an error. After leaveing the game for awhile and come back, most likely you'll forget the status and capabilities of your char(S). Moreover, char development and advancement is a slow process (it takes 2 years to max out) where only numbers can represent the slow progress, or else you'll either use up all the words in a dictionary or simply see no progress due to the lack of phrases to distinguish your every steps in the advancement path.

On the other hand, what actually kills a game is the statitics serving the purpose of precisely calculating the results. Such as you need kill 3cows+ 5dogs+ 6wolves to advance 0.1 of your sword skill, or a cow has 1/36 chance droping a broadsword, or str+dex/2+3x1.5 = damage done. It sounds more like a 'Terminator' than a medieval warrior.
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There are two overlapping fundamental issues here — differentiation between the player and the character; and abstraction of complexity.




As a preamble for the first issue, I'd say that roleplaying requires a character-oriented point of view (as role-playing means to me the capability to play a role different from my real-life "role"). This in itself requires some form of "stats" (regardless of whether the player ever sees them or whether they are modeled as in fuzzy, in stochastic, or in what ever form you want). As I've already stated, making the problem "disappear" by simply making all in-game skills player skills doesn't really solve the problem, it merely changes the context into such that the problem no longer exists in the new context.

Anyway, the first of the issues is the fact that the player should know exactly what his character does, no less, no more. I'm exaggerating here, as obviously the character will know things the player doesn't (the player sees, whether you wanted it or not, an abstact view of the game world) and the player knows things the character doesn't (as starting the game from scratch doesn't wipe the memory of the player clean).

Usually the game doesn't start from the birth of the character. Much has happened before the moment the player gets to control the character. Whatever has happened in the character's life so far has given the character some sort of idea how strong he is, how easily can he pick a lock (assuming he has tried it; if he hasn't, it would be a plausible assumption to say that he can't pick locks), etc. Thus, if you force the player to learn these things by trial-and-error, you are basically not giving the player at least the same information the character has. Similarily, failing at something (a "skill check") could well give the character the possibility to estimate what kind of changes would he have, should he try again. Hiding information and forcing the player to learn something that the character already knows is at very least as silly as making the game a munchkiny optimatization problem. From one extreme we get to another.

I'm not saying the estimates of the character are in any way accurate or precise. I'm just saying that the character can make such estimates, and these estimates can be shown to the player by appropriate means (other than having to try out the skill in question and making all sort of vague interpretations based on the grunts and snarls uttered by the character). Numbers are — at least to me, and many others, it seems — a natural and easily understandable way to represent this information. If you want to add a random value to the actual true number to produce the inaccuracy of the estimate of the character or round up or down the number in order to create an illusion of lack of precision, then go ahead. If you want to add a large constant to the true number in order to represent the overconfidence of the character, then go ahead. You could use many such tricks to make the estimate of the character more in-game and intuitive (as opposed to having an omnipotent character), but just don't make me waste time to learn from scratch something I should already know from the history of the character.

Another related problem is memory. Why should I have to remember everything the character has learnt of himself? The computer should remember these things for me.




The other of the issues is the fact that there can be different levels of abstraction in the game. For instance, if all weapons are characterized into one number (say, some sort of attack value), then there's nothing wrong with that. If you want to keep combat simplistic, that's fine. But even if you wanted to make combat more complicated, there is no reason to go all the way to the other extreme — there is a whole spectrum of alternatives to choose from. The sword can still be a sword, even if all you given was the exemplary 'A/D 10/5.' data from superpig's post. If all you see is a generic weapon description consisting of a bunch of numbers, I'd say it's a sign of rule-playing instead of role-playing (no offense intended). The game is still giving you enough information to create as vivid image of the sword in your mind as you want. Use your imagination, man! You just have to see the forest from the trees... [wink]

That's not all the abstractions. There are many things in the game world that aren't displayed. After all, in few games you can actually use a toilet. Still, no one complains. Usually you don't have to eat (strangely enough, if you do eat, your health goes up — what the heck?). Still, these things should happen, and they do — but the game itself is already abstract and thus the player is not bored with such mundane issues (this is what I meant with the player not being able to know everything the character does). With that being said, when you start to barter with the local blacksmith, who is to say that such comparison as suggested by superpig doesn't happen? It still could happen, but you just don't see it, just as you don't see your character taking a leak every now and then. And if the absolute scale is worrying, then why not transforming the whole display of items to be relative to some item (e.g. the currently wielded item)? Not that it really changed much, but the main point is that either you get very complex gameplay (spending hours just comparing equipment when selling loot etc. as Wavinator suggested) or you get very vague abstractions (sword is 6, axe is 9 — you figure it out). You can't have your cake and eat it too. [wink]
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Yea, I have an answer for everything because, I'm trying to work this out :) Its just an idea that might be completely wrong.

Jup, I didn't make it out of the dungeon. I don't like masive content that is thrown around randomly. I don't like collecting everithing I find just to sell it and buy healing/better weapons.

I like cerfully placed content that has its place in the story. I don't mind finding only 2 magic swords in the game that have a nice story of how you find them (and NOT buy them). I like NPC that have some personality and are not just the average merchant. I am for Quality over quantity. I like to have a motif for doing things, "yea I'm gona beat that nasty wizard because he betraid me" preferably introdusing another twist along the road, instead of "yea I'm gona go get this stuff from the wizard stole you, he'll probably have something neat in his tower that I can loot after I beat my way through the zombies".

As for why I don't like stats.. I don't like them because it aint cool to find yet another magic sword +3. They supress good description. Just imagine how crapy it would be if Tolkien wrote and Bilbo gives Frodo that magic sword of swiftness +1. Some chapters later, and frodo sees that Level 15 giant Spider with a thac0 of -3 and an armour class of -14... Would it be nicer if the game would convince you that a sword is cool or the fight with that monster isn't a good idea with other means than numbers? How and if that is possible, I am trying to find out.

Now about other kinds of roleplay games, in the pen'n'paper world there are quite a lot that are about playing the role of a character and not just about slashing orcs. There are some where it is most of the time better to avoid fight, since fight is lethal. I Call Of Cthulhu (a very nicely designed game) you can die by a single bullet now matter how experienced your character is (let alone meating those nightmares from other dimentions). But it ain't about fighting. Its about horror. And most of the time the game master will make the rolls for you since it ain't no fun when you know that you failed but have to do as though you did't. Or how about the World of Darkness series, where the whole gamplay is about the personal horror of different forms. Yea you can ran arround and beat everyone you find along the way your a vampire or wherewolf or whatever. But that ain't the core of the game. It about the story. Its about why you do wat you do. Its about the ethics of what you do.

edit: damned... third time today I miss a not...
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Quote:
Original post by nefthy
Jup, I didn't make it out of the dungeon. I don't like masive content that is thrown around randomly. I don't like collecting everithing I find just to sell it and buy healing/better weapons.

I like cerfully placed content that has its place in the story. I don't mind finding only 2 magic swords in the game that have a nice story of how you find them (and NOT buy them). I like NPC that have some personality and are not just the average merchant. I am for Quality over quantity. I like to have a motif for doing things, "yea I'm gona beat that nasty wizard because he betraid me" preferably introdusing another twist along the road, instead of "yea I'm gona go get this stuff from the wizard stole you, he'll probably have something neat in his tower that I can loot after I beat my way through the zombies".


Ok, if you didn't make it out of the dungeon then you have all of your other statements fall through the floor. If you had made it out of the dungeon you would know that half of the items you pick up can't be sold (or are only worth a few gold pieces), there is atmost 2 magic weapons in the dungeon (one being a two handed sword +2). The 'nasty wizard' didn't betray you, he kidnapped you and tortured you so that he could steal your soul. And if you never left the dungeon you have no idea what kinds of quests there are. There are practically no places to buy better weapons (for less than 5,000 gold), healing potions cost around 500 gold and there aren't that many of them, and almost every single magic item has a lengthy description on it. And there are only a few NPCs in the first dungeon and NONE of them could be removed. You have:
Djinni that asks you a question and a different result for different answers.
Golem that opens the door so that you can advance.
3 forest creatures (I can't think of their names) that need you to take they're
acorns to their mother so that they can be saved (side quest).
A creature trapped in a glass tube. You takes his power crystals to release him
(kill him). And then use them to power up other tanks and talk to those
creatures.
Another djinni that ask you to release him and in turn he will give you your
sword.
Shadow thieves that believe you're evil and attack you.
A shapeshifter that attempts to get your help and then attacks you after you've
slept.

Ok, 1 could be removed (there is a golem in the very beginning that tells you to
return to your cells. But that is his sole purpose of creation.

Check out this image with the description of 6 items:


And furthermore, how can you make statements like this about a game you obviously didn't spend more than an hour playing?
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I told that I was juging based on BGI and what you told about the game. I might be mistaken about BGII but it dind't catch my interest.

Descriptions like this are present in BGI but there is still the lable magic sword +1 that is placed infront of it.
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Original post by nefthy
I told that I was juging based on BGI and what you told about the game. I might be mistaken about BGII but it dind't catch my interest.

Descriptions like this are present in BGI but there is still the lable magic sword +1 that is placed infront of it.


Actually, you didn't say you were judging based on BGI, you said "I haven't played BGII that much, I lost interest..."

And I don't believe I've ever seen magic sword + 1. I've seen Bastard Sword + # (and others like that), but that is because that is the kind of weapon it is. You need to be proficient with bastard swords to use them, and based upon the name I can tell this weapon is as strong as a bastard sword +3 points of damage.

Just to note, it also has a description of it that partially proves your point. From the description I could figure out that its a fairly strong weapon, and it deals extra fire damage.

And what content was thrown around in BGI?
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Original post by Programmer16
And what content was thrown around in BGI?


Tons of it. Somethings had uniqe names, somes where lable bastard sword +3 or two-handed sword +3 or $type_of_sword + #. Somethings had even been placed there, but they did't have a place in the story you played. They where not different from the random stuff monsters droped to you all the time. I did enjoy baldursgate quite a lot but this was one thing that realy turned my down. Together with the erand type subquests. Ok, they are optional but if you want to have any resonable chance of finishing the game you have to do quite a few of them.
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